Testing Mosquito Pools

The Franklin County Mosquito Control District’s primary responsibility is the protection of the public’s health from mosquito-borne disease transmission. Finding mosquito-borne virus presence and its locations quickly is vital to the District’s program to protect its patrons. 

To do this the District deploys fifteen CO2 baited traps throughout Franklin County to catch and collect adult mosquitoes to determine mosquito population numbers, mosquito species present and to test collected mosquitoes for virus presence. Collected mosquitoes are brought to the District’s Lab for identification and testing every week during the months of April through November. The District employs two antigen assay testing methods to find mosquito-borne virus presence quickly. These methods are the MAS- Vec-Test Antigen Assay and the RAMP (Rapid Analyte Measurement Platform) West Nile Virus Test System each test method has advantages and disadvantages. 

  • The first is the MAS- Vec-Test Antigen Assay method which is capable of detecting West Nile Virus, St. Louis encephalitis and Western Equine Encephalitis.
  • The second is the  RAMP West Nile Virus Test System

With the MAS Vec-Test Antigen Assay method we can test collected mosquitoes for the presence of all mosquito-borne encephalitic viruses found in our area. However, the Vec-Test Assay system has some limitation issues of detection and accuracy.

The RAMP (Rapid Analyte Measurement Platform) at present only assays for the presence of mosquito-borne West Nile Virus but it is 100 times more able to detect virus presence and is highly accurate. For these reason the District employs both antigen assay systems to detect virus presence.

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